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| 17 January 2022 | Reply

Label: Spinefarm Records

Release Date: January 21, 2022

Rating: 96%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I first came across Billy Talent a few years ago when they opened a show in metro Detroit for Thirty Seconds To Mars and was instantly taken by their sound and vibe, incorporating a rock attitude with some great punk rock laced with pop hooks.  The latest disc from Billy Talent keeps the method and sound intact with ten great songs.  Disc opener “Forgiveness I + II” is an interesting track in that it has different textures and sounds swirled into the two different components that make up parts I and II.  The songs common thread is the vocals and the overall vibe of the track that is woven into the songs DNA giving us an elongated kick off to the disc clocking in at almost seven minutes.  Be sure to hang out for the killer sax solo on the back half of the track.  “Reckless Paradise” is a FUN song that has a driving beat and rhythm as well as a great sound from the guitars and bass that perfectly swirl with the vocals in the mix.  This song gets the foot tapping and blood pumping while the catchy chorus gets you singing along.  “The Wolf” is an interesting track that has some phenomenal arrangements and orchestration that support the vocals, guitars, and rhythm section.  The song has a heavier vibe woven into the musical component that shakes up the track list and overall texture of the disc.  “Judged” is exactly what you expect when you hear terms like power punk, pop punk, etc.  This one is a great song that gets the blood flowing and you dancing where you sit or stand.  The layered vocals on the chorus are a bonus that gives the song a little extra character.  “End of Me” slows the pace a bit without losing any of the rock edge.  This one features Rivers Cuomo who adds to the track with layered vocals and verses that have a slightly different feel thanks to the different textures of the lead vocal.  The song has a tempo that gets the foot tapping from first note to last.  This is one of my favorites on the disc.

“I Beg to Differ (This Will Get Better)” is another contagious song that nestles nicely in your head as verse moves to chorus and back again.  The music is smooth and perfect pop-punk blend that carries the track from start to finish.  The vibe of the song fits the essence and energy of the lyrics.  This track is a perfect reflection of real-world feelings in early 2022.  “Reactor” is a fun rock track that brings a cool swirl of guitars and vocals that float above the heavy-handed drums and thumping bass lines.  The chorus is in your face and grabs your attention on the first pass.  The shift sonically from verse to chorus and back features some cool time changes that add depth.  “Hanging Out With All The Wrong People” opens with a cool guitar riff that pairs with a solid bass line and drums that soon join the fray and create a great landscape for the vocals to dance across.  The chorus is fun and contagious, and the lyrical content is a great listen.  There is something about this track that sticks with you long after the song has ended.  “One Less Problem” is another track that should be embraced by rock radio if it is given a change.  The catchy hooks and singsong feel of the chorus take this one into mainstream territory, but it suits the band and disc well.  This one paired with “End Of Me” creates one of the best one-two punches on the disc.  Disc closer “For You” unfolds with a different feel that strays slightly without losing the pop-punk feel and sound the band has worked so hard to perfect and deliver release after release, but it also shows a bit of growth sonically.  This track was built for live performance as it is sure to get hands in the air and packed crowds singing along.  Now if I could only stop listening long enough to potentially review some other stuff in my inbox…

Tracklisting: Forgiveness I + II – Reckless Paradise – I Beg to Differ (This Will Get Better) – The Wolf – Reactor – Judged – Hanging Out With All The Wrong People – End of Me (featuring Rivers Cuomo) – One Less Problem – For You







Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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